Chancellor Angela Merkel met with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which the two leaders discuss bilateral relations, as well as regional and international security challenges. On the matter of Iran, Chancellor Merkel emphasized to President Putin that while Berlin maintains its commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – which is the technical term of the nuclear deal with Iran – Germany continues to observe with concern the Islamic Republic’s malign activities that must be addressed. “Germany is committed to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) deal but we are observing with concern other actions by Iran, be it in Yemen, be it their ballistic program or be it the situation in Syria. We will continue the talks that we had with (Russian Foreign Minister) Mr. (Sergei) Lavrov in the beginning of the summer and in Sochi,” Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
Chancellor Merkel has also touched base on the situation in Syria. As fighting mounts in the northwestern province of Idlib, Merkel stressed that a humanitarian catastrophe must be avoided, and that a political process must provide reform for the future of Syria. “An important topic today will be Syria. We need to make sure that there will not be a humanitarian catastrophe in and around Idlib. We see that fighting is de-escalating in many other places but that doesn’t mean that there is peace order in place. And that is why Germany is emphasizing, as part of the so-called “small group”, that we start a political process. We talked about this already in Sochi, which would include a new constitutional reform and general elections. And we fully support the work of U.N. special envoy Mr. (Staffan) De Mistura,” Angela Merkel, Germany Chancellor said.